Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. 

For much of the 2010s, if you were to ask any global investor or geopolitical pundit what the hottest emerging markets were, they’d likely point to one of these BRICS countries.

More recently, countries with big, young populations like Egypt, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Vietnam have caught investors’ eyes as the "next up" markets...but theres one, well booming archipelago nation of over 7,000 islands in Southeast Asia that likely deserves a whole lot more attention than what it gets:

The Philippines.

Consider some of these staggering statistics:

The Philippines has a population of over 110 million, with a median age less than 26.

There are 12 million Filipinos living abroad...outside the Philippines, like in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, and, really everywhere in between.

A vast majority of Filipinos speak English, making the Philippines the 3rd largest fluently-English speaking country in the entire world.

Now combine these population statistics with the facts that a) there’s billions being spent to lay 4G infrastructure throughout the entire country, b) there’s been an influx of really affordable smart phones flooding the Filipino market, and c) you have a digitally native country that’s been called the 'social media, texting, and selfie capitals of the world', and well, you have the perfect storm for an imminent Filipino tech boom.

And for Roland Ros and live streaming social media app Kumo, it’s been boom indeed.

Starting in 2018, Kumu has taken on the name “the Disneyland of social media”...allowing content creators to live stream what it is they do best: from shooting hoops, to singing, to just ... hanging out with their communities.

Think: a Twitch ... without the video games.

And with viewers rewarding creators with micro gifts, (akin to flipping the guitar-playing street performer a buck), Kumu has become the highest grossing social app in the Philippines with over 10 million users, raising over $100 million in the process, and is well on its way - no matter who you speak to - to becoming a Filipino unicorn.

But to get here, seemingly overnight, for Kumu founder and Filipino-American Roland Ros, it’s been a far longer, far harder of back-and-forth-travel, of introspection, of failure, and of a newfound love for his wonderful, ever-growing homeland: 

The Philippines.

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